Iron Man

Industrial Light & Magic

From The Terminator movies to Iron Man, Stan Winston made the magic that make movies magic.

The Oscar-winning visual-effects and makeup guru died Sunday of multiple myeloma at his Malibu home. He was 62, and had been battling the plasma cancer for seven years.

In a statement addressed "to my dear friend Stan," Steven Spielberg said his longtime collaborator's "contributions to this industry will last forever."

"The entertainment industry has lost a genius, and I lost one of my best
friends," said California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, whom Winston helped make an iconic killing machine of  in The Terminator and its two sequels.

Long Hollywood's go-to creator of creatures great and occasionally frightning, Winston won four Oscars for his wizardry on Jurassic Park, Aliens and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which earned him two statuettes, one for makeup and one for visual effects. He was nominated a total of 10 times.

His handiwork can be seen in the current summer hits Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, You Don't Mess With the Zohan and Iron Man, for which Winston's namesake studio built the hero's high-tech armored suits.

Stan Winston Studio is also set to work on the upcoming Terminator 4, the big-screen, live-action G.I. Joe and James Cameron's Avatar.

Although Winston tended to work on films that were heavy on special effects, he maintained his life's work was about building characters, not gadgets.

Stan Winston

Jordan Strauss/WireImage.com

"I don't do special effects. I create characters, and I use the tools of special effects necessary to do it," Winston told the BBC in 2003.

Winston's career began in 1969 when, according to his company's website, the aspiring actor took a would-be day job as an apprentice to a Disney makeup artist. Just a few years later, he scored his first major award—an Emmy for his makeup work on the 1972 TV movie Gargoyles.

Throughout the 1970s, Winston created makeup looks for everything from low-budget horror films to a Diana Ross TV special. In the 1981, he earned his first Oscar nomination for using makeup to make a robot of Andy Kaufman in the 1981 comedy, Heartbeeps.

In 1984, he began a storied association with Cameron and the T-series cyborgs of The Terminator movies.

Moving beyond makeup, Winston was responsible for creating the futuristic effects for the relatively low-budget sci-fi thriller. While he didn't rate an Oscar nomination for the film, he established himself as a special-effects specialist. He and Cameron would later go on to help found Digital Domain, the special-effects house.

After Terminator, Winston seemingly had a creative hand in every popcorn movie to pop out of Hollywood, including: Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park movies, for which he created the large-as-life dinosaurs; Cameron's Aliens; Spielberg's Artificial Intelligence: A.I.; Tim Burton's Edward Scissorhands; Predator; Interview With a Vampire, even Tank Girl.

In 2001, Winston received an honor usually reserved for faces in front of the camera: A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 2003, Winston told the Los Angeles Times that he'd become so associated with creating creatures that the calendar date Oct. 31 drove him underground.

"There’s no way I could do anything on Halloween that would live up to what anyone would expect of me. If I were going to a costume party, what would I do? It would just be disappointing," Winston said with apparent humor. "Halloween has become the tragic day of the year for Stan."

(Originally published June 16, 2008 at 1:31 p.m. PT.)

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